Heater Repair vs Heating Replacement: Which Does My Oakland Home Need?

In a lot of homes in Oakland, warm water is essential in their everyday lives. They use it for showers, bathing, cooking, hand washing, laundry, and dishes. One individual alone can use warm water up to fifteen times a day. When you add other members into the equation, you can see that the water heater is used more than fifty times a day.

water heater

Because of the frequent use, problems would pop out sooner or later on the water heater. Problems can be caused by strain in usage or the age of the appliance. Even the best water heaters have life spans that only last for ten years.

While household owners can prolong the life of their appliance by regular maintenance, there are still chances that they might need to buy a replacement for their tank. Replacement is especially important if the container has been servicing them for over nine years. But replacement is an expensive option, and not all homeowners will have a budget for it. Here are some guidelines for homeowners to see if they need a heating repair or a replacement.

Things to Consider

1. Age

The adage that says nothing lasts forever is true in most water heaters. During the course of home occupancy, the homeowner will be faced with appliance replacements sooner or later. However, most residents don’t have any idea of the expiration date of most of the appliances inside their home. If they don’t have this piece of information, it can lead to problems such as the machine starts to act up because of its age.

The Lifespan of Most Water Heaters

The majority of these appliances have lifespans of seven to ten years. Ten years is the age where most of the appliances need replacement. However, some repairs can be too expensive, so most homeowners find themselves the need to buy a new one before the timeline has been reached. The best option is to have a replacement once a decade has passed to prevent further problems.

Signs of Malfunctioning Heater

  • Visible rusting inside or outside the tank
  • Uncommon noises
  • Water Leaks
  • The cold water comes out or failure in the heating system

If you are using gas water heater varieties, their lifespans typically last up to eight years. Read here for more information about gas types. If you occupy your home for seven years, you might be required to replace the heater once you decide to sell it.

How to Determine the Age?

Look for the serial number that can be found on the manufacturer’s sticker. This is often visible in the upper half of the tank. The formats are usually a combination of letters and numbers. You can refer to the manual and see if the sticker contains the date and the year when the unit was manufactured.

2. Rusty Inlet Valve

Steel is considered a durable material and is used in many industries. However, it has a weakness, which is rust. There are times when corrosion starts in one place and spreads to other areas of the tank. The rust can also eat through steel and penetrate the inner layers causing rusty water. If you see rust in any areas, it can also be a warning that the leak is coming up.

However, the main trouble that homeowners face is that whether the rust is coming from the pipes or from the tank’s inlet valve itself. Regardless, rust should be addressed immediately as it could lead to other problems in the household.

In a situation where rust is present when you want hot water, there’s a considerable chance that the problem is in the tank. Whether you are in a tub, showering, or washing dishes that need warm or hot water, the problem can be traced to the tank, especially if your appliance is way past from its expiration date. The only best option is replacement since there can be no way to salvage an old unit once the rust is in the inlet valves. Read more about inlet valves here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/inlet-valve

rust from pipes

Rust from Pipes

There are times when the pipes can be the rusty ones. If you have galvanized pipes and they are old, rust can eat away at them. The problem can become intense in the long run that it becomes a problem in tubs and sinks.

One thing that many homeowners should do is to drain buckets of hot water. If the water comes out rusty after the fourth bucket, then the problem is in the tank and not the pipes. This is an indication that replacement should be done as soon as possible.

3. Uncommon Noise

The rumbling noises are common, but as the tank ages, these noises become louder and more irritating to the ears. When a household relies on water heater often, the sound can be more pronounced as time passes. Here are some factors that cause noises.

Buildup of Sediments

Sediments form as the reheating of water continues. They settle at the bottom of the tank and can harden over time. If there’s too much sediment, some of the problems can include inefficiency and accelerated damage. The noise that comes from deposits is one of the indications that the tank will leak eventually.

If you are not sure whether your heater requires a repair or a replacement, you can directly consult an expert plumber to save time and money. With the right choice, you won’t have to spend too much with a new appliance if the old one can still be repaired. If there’s replacement needed, you can save costs by buying a new one that doesn’t leak or cause problems.